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“Are traffic violators criminals? Searching for answers in experiences of European countries”

Listed author(s):
  • José I. Castillo-Manzano

    ()

    (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, University of Seville (Spain))

  • Mercedes Castro-Nuño

    ()

    (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, University of Seville (Spain))

  • Xavier Fageda

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

The connection between road traffic safety and criminal behavior has recently become a topic of interest in the literature, although little emphasis placed on the relationship with road accidents. Evidence worldwide shows that people who commit other offences characteristic of antisocial attitudes, are more prone to suffer road traffic accidents and infringe traffic laws. Here we examine the records of the 28 current member states of the European Union over the period 1999-2010. Our aim is to test the hypothesis that crime rates (and specifically, motor vehicle-related crimes) may be considered as predictors of fatal road traffic accidents. If they may, this could justify, at least prima facie, the tendency in several countries to consider traffic offences as crimes in their penal codes and to toughen the punishment imposed on those who commit them. We also analyze the effect of the severity of the legal system applied to traffic offences. Our results reveal that road traffic fatality rates are higher in countries whose inhabitants have more aggressive behavior, while the rates are lower in countries with more severe penal systems.

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File URL: http://www.ub.edu/irea/working_papers/2014/201415.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics in its series IREA Working Papers with number 201415.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision: May 2014
Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201415
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  2. Vereeck, Lode & Vrolix, Klara, 2007. "The social willingness to comply with the law: The effect of social attitudes on traffic fatalities," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 385-408, December.
  3. Giacopassi, David & Forde, David R., 2000. "Broken windows, crumpled fenders, and crime," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 397-405.
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  14. Antonio Nicita & Simona Benedettini, 2012. "The Costs of Avoiding Accidents.Selective Compliance and the 'Peltzman Effect' in Italy," Department of Economics University of Siena 631, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  15. David Bishai & Asma Quresh & Prashant James & Abdul Ghaffar, 2006. "National road casualties and economic development," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 65-81.
  16. Thomas S Dee, 2001. "Does setting limits save lives? The case of 0.08 BAC laws," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 111-128.
  17. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
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  19. Patrick S. McCarthy, 2005. "Alcohol, Public Policy, and Highway Crashes: A Time-series Analysis of Older-driver Safety," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 39(1), pages 109-126, January.
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